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Press Release

ASHP Invited to Name Member of JCAHO

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is the only pharmacy organization to have a seat on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization's (JCAHO) Professional and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) related to hospital standards. ASHP will nominate a member and alternate to participate in the Hospital PTAC for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2000.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' Professional and Technical Advisory Committees (PTACs) are an integral part of the Joint Commission's advisory structure. The hospital PTAC is one of six such advisory committees. Each PTAC is program specific. The other PTACs are: ambulatory care, behavioral health care, home care, long term care and networks. ASHP also has a seat on the home care PTAC. 

PTAC members, who represent a diverse group of national health care organizations, assist the Joint Commission in the development and refinement of accreditation standards and scoring guidelines. Additionally, the PTAC provides advice concerning the educational needs of its field and the Joint Commission's role in meeting those needs. PTAC recommendations are forwarded to the Joint Commission's Standards and Survey Procedures committee for consideration. 

"The value of the PTACs stems from the diversity of organizational perspectives each of the members brings to the table," said Laura Reeder, director of Board and Committee Activities at the Joint Commission. "The input from these health care organizations is critical to the development of Joint Commission standards." 

"ASHP has a long history of developing pharmacy practice standards and is at the forefront of championing initiatives to avert medication accidents and promote safe medication-use systems in hospitals and health systems," said Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D, ASHP executive vice president and chief executive officer. "We are very pleased that JCAHO recognizes that the pharmacist's perspective is vital to patient care." Manasse added that a recent ASHP survey found that 61% of patients are concerned about medication mix-ups in hospitals and health-systems. Fostering fail-safe medication use in health systems is a key plank of ASHP's leadership agenda. 

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medications. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care, and it is a national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.